Derek Foster, Associate Professor

Faculty of Social Sciences

Derek Foster, Associate Professor

Office: SBH 311
Extension: 5366; Email:

I'm interested in supervising projects in the areas of reality TV; popular culture and memory; popular culture and place promotion; fandom; communication activism; and visual rhetoric (or the strategic use of symbols, broadly construed).

Ph.D. Communication, Carleton School of Journalism and Communication
M.A. Mass Communication, Carleton School of Journalism and Communication
M.A. Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University
B.A. (H) Political Studies, Queen's University

Research Interests:

Visual rhetoric
Television studies
Discourse analysis of public and popular culture(s)
Popular culture and public memory

Teaching Areas:
Visual rhetoric
Audience research
Language and power
Theories of the media
Communication of social issues

Selected Publications:
(2013) "One person's trash is another one's treasure: Why reality TV can do just as much good as harm." In Joshua Greenberg and Charlene Elliott (Eds.), Communication in Question: Competing perspectives on controversial issues in communication studies. Toronto: Nelson. pp. 275-280.

(2012) "How even American reality TV can perform a public service on Canadian television." In Marian Bredin, Scott Henderson, and Sarah A. Matheson (Eds.), Canadian Television: Text and context. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier Press. pp. 135-151

(2010) “‘Wii’re here for a good time’: The sneaky rhetoric of Wii themed parties.” The Journal of American Culture. 33:1. 30-39.

(2009) “Kleer-cut(ting) downtown: The visual rhetoric of Greenpeace’s quest to save the boreal forest.” Enculturation: a journal of rhetoric, writing and culture (online). 6:2.

(2009) Chasing the Public: The CBC and the Debate Over Factual Entertainment on Canadian Airwaves. Canadian Journal of Communication. 34.1 pp. 61-77.

(2009) “Locating Children in the Discourse of Squeegee Kids.” In Loren Lerner (Ed.), Depicting Canada’s Children. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 201-218.

(2008) “Hockey dreams: the reality and the fiction of a national obsession.” In Zoë Druick & Patsy Kotsopoulos (Eds.), Programming Reality: Perspectives on English Canadian Television. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 85-106.




Derek Foster